Art Picou lands winning Marlin in Belikin Spectacular

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 9, No. 39            October 14, 1999

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Barry Bowen of Belikin congratulates Team Freedom

The 7th Annual Belikin Blue Water Fishing Tournament held over the weekend proved to be quite exciting to many. This is the first time the Belikin Spectacular has been based in San Pedro and is the last tournament of the century for the Belize Game Fishing Association (BGFA). Belize Yacht Club was home base for the affair offering all services at special rates for the participants.

    The first day of fishing took place on Saturday with boats being able to start from any location. The weather was less than desirable with swells of up to 12 feet the first day, but the fish seemed to like it, as two of the biggest were brought in that day. Mary Ellen Stevens (Sweet Basil) of the Maria Elena hooked a Blue Marlin twice her size, fighting it for 40 minutes, giving her the honor of Top Female Angler and $250. Art Picou of the boat Freedom had a tougher time  and fought for three hours to land his champion Blue which weighed in at 297 pounds. This turned out to be the Heaviest Blue Marlin, netting the angler $1500 and a trophy. This fish also gave Captain Gilberto "Hilly Boo" Lara and team members Oscar Lara and Todd Unkerfur the winning points (297) for Champion Boat with a prize of $3000.

    Other top scoring boats and their prizes were: 2nd - Isabella with 249 points, $2000; 3rd - Maria Elena with 229 points, $1500; 4th - Blue Water Express with 175 points, $750; and 5th - Calypso with 166 points, $500.

    A BBQ dinner and awards ceremony were held Sunday evening at the newly completed Coral Sand Convention Center next to the Belize Yacht Club. A large crowd gathered to congratulate the participants. Master of Ceremonies was chairman of BGFA, John Crump, who was joined by Barry Bowen, sponsor of the tournament, to hand out awards. Other prizes and their winners were heaviest: Sailfish - 44 pounds - David Vasquez of Gone Again, $1000 and trophy; Dolphin - 12 pounds - DeeAnn Musa of Oh Miami, $500; Wahoo - 32 pounds - Glen Schwendinger (Rendezvous Restaurant) of Sea Boots, $500; Tuna -13 pounds - Floyd Wagner of Nauti Lady, $500. Brad Bowman of Carib Lady was named Junior Angler and won $50.

A beaming Captain Hilly Boo (2nd from left) and winning angler Art Picou (3rd from left) with winning Marlin
Mary Ellen Stevens wins Top Female Angler
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